Spencer Livestock Sales of Spencer, Iowa has become the first recipient of the national BQA Marketer Award. BQA, or Beef Quality Assurance, is a nationally recognized program that outlines cattle care and handling procedures to produce quality beef for consumers. The announcement of the award was made in Nashville, TN, in early February during the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen Beef Association Trade Show.
Spencer Livestock Sales and its general manager Morris Larson were selected from a group of livestock markets, cattle buyers and supply-chain programs that were nominated for the award. The selection criteria focused on the incorporation of BQA principles in day-to-day activities of the business, as well as providing opportunities for their customers to become BQA certified.
Helps educate livestock producers about benefits of using BQA practices on the farm
Larson has strived to improve BQA practices at the auction market, to better educate himself, his employees and area livestock producers about the benefits of implementing BQA practices on the farm, and he provides guidance to others in animal care and welfare. At Spencer Livestock Sales, management includes low-stress handling of livestock.
Iowa cattle producers have used Spencer Livestock Sales as a central meeting location for educational seminars on everything from BQA certification and animal handling to source and age verification. Larson donates the use of the auction market for 4-H and FFA weigh-ins and educational programs. "Morris' dedication to youth and his assistance in increasing knowledge about cattle handling techniques and new technologies have helped area producers add value to their cattle," says Doug Bear, who directs the state BQA program for the Iowa Beef Industry Council.Both the state and National BQA programs are funded by The Beef Checkoff. Additional financial support for the national awards was provided by Safeway's Rancher's Reserve and Cargill Meat Solutions. Producer-directed and consumer-focused, the Iowa Beef Industry Council is funded by the $1-per-head beef checkoff. Checkoff dollars are invested in beef promotion, consumer information, research, industry information and foreign market development, all with the purpose of strengthening beef demand. For more information, visit www.iabeef.org.